A competitive juvenile event at Sandown on Wednesday was won by progressive filly Melveen (2f Starspangledbanner x Hawaiian Melody, by Fasliyev).
Sixth on debut to Kinky Boom in the $250,000 Inglis Premier, the Henry Dwyer trained filly improved sharply at her second run with the addition of blinkers.
Ridden patiently by Damien Thornton from back in the field, she accelerated hard when angled into the clear on turning for home and charged to the line out wide to score a nose win in a blanket finish to the 1200 metre dash.
Connections announced Melveen was likely to head to the paddock after breaking the ice and would return a stronger filly after her spell.
An $80,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Millford Thoroughbreds draft, Melveen is the third winner from Hawaiian Melody, a half-sister to the dam of Group III winner Vivacious Spirit, the dam of Group I New Zealand One Thousand Guineas winner Costa Viva.
Starspangledbanner has lacked for numbers in the past due to his well-documented fertility problems earlier in his career, but has overcome those issues and has some 42 two year-olds to run for him in Australia this season.
The world champion sprinter of his time, Starspangledbanner has 15 entries for the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale next month in Melbourne.